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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 19:19 GMT
US-made calf reopens clone debate
Holstein cow
The Holstein calf could grow up to be a productive dairy cow
A calf grown from an embryo taken from a cloned cow has been born on a British farm for the first time.

The calf, named Dundee Paradise, was born on a farm near Wolverhampton after being created by scientists in the US.

As the Holstein calf is not itself a clone, the environment department (Defra) says no health and welfare rules have been broken.

Some animal rights groups say cloning causes suffering to animals and warns against buying their offspring.

Dundee Paradise began life in a US laboratory, where scientists created an embryo from a normal bull and the clone of a prize-winning dairy cow.

She was then flown to the UK as an embryo and implanted into a cow on a farm near Wolverhampton.

'Novel food'

A Defra spokeswoman said the animal's health was not of particular concern as the calf had not been genetically modified.

"Any offspring from a cloned animal is considered to be the same as any other naturally-born cow," she said.

The animal was born as the majority of the 220,000 animals that we register in the UK every year are born - as a result of artificial insemination
Simon Gee
Holstein UK

However, the Food Standards Agency said it was "in discussions about the legal requirements relating to offspring of cloned animals".

Any products taken from Dundee Paradise could need authorisation from an EU committee of experts and labelled a "novel food".

Simon Gee, of Holstein UK, an organisation that represents the Holstein and British Friesian breeds, said the calf was created using "conventional breeding technology".

"The animal was born as the majority of the 220,000 animals that we register in the UK every year are born - as a result of artificial insemination.

"The difference here is that the embryos were imported into the UK, frozen in liquid nitrogen and then implanted into recipient cows here."




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